Charlie escapes from prison. After rescuing a girl and her mother from drowning, Charlie is invited to their home where a big party is held and he is treated like a hero. However, as a result Charlie's photo is printed in the newspapers and the prison guards come after him. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
When I was a young boy (about five years old), my parents couldn't afford a TV and, in order to give me entertainment, my dad bought a second hand silent cine projector and showed me some silent westerns (which I have all but forgotten) and - oh joy, oh bliss - the Essanay and Mutual Chaplin films. The greatest of these - by a long way, in my estimation is 'The Adventurer' indeed, it is one of the very few short films worthy of the term 'masterpiece'.
The Adventurer is a sonata on the number 3. There are three main locations - the beach, the pier and the house. The cliff location in the beach scene is triangular, Charlie and his two pursuers make an hilarious trio, with every combination of characters and apexes of the triangle being explored...
Then we go onto the pier... There we have three sub-locations - the top of the pier, the car and the sea. Charlie explores all of these and then moves onto the house.
Here we also have three locations - upstairs, downstairs and the terrace. You can see dozens of other 'threes' in the film, but the coda, in which Charlie is chased three times round the set is like the delirious coda to Mozart's 41st Symphony when the orchestra seem to take off. There is noting like it in all cinema.
Of course I had no idea about all this subtlety when I was a kid, I just looked and laughed in wonder and said with a pleading thrill in my voice.... 'Play it again, Dad.'
Without these wonderful Chaplin films, I doubt that I would have given my life to the cinema for the last fifty years.
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